In an important decision that comes within 10 days of the tragic terror attack on the army camp at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday gave its approval to defence proposals worth Rs 1900 crore.
DAC is defence ministry’s top acquisition body and the main highlight of today’s decision was a go ahead on the procurement of Rs 330 crore worth of electronic warfare systems for Jammu and Kashmir. Equipment like jammers and other security systems are being procured for army to deal with low intensity conflict in the J&K region. Advanced EW systems with long range capabilities on UAVs, aircrafts and naval systems will help Indian inspect deep into enemy zones.
The DAC also approved a proposal to procure anti-tank guided munitions for training purposes for army at a cost of Rs 405 crore. India’s Defence Security Advisor and the three chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force were also present at the DAC meeting.
Two proposals relating to the Navy also received the DAC clearance. This includes setting up of a repair facility for the Naval dockyard at a cost of Rs 725 crores. This facility will specifically cater to the soon to be inducted Scorpene submarines, Defence Ministry sources said.
India had signed a $3.5-billion contract with French firm DCNS in October 2005 to jointly develop six Scorpene submarines. Under Project 75 of the Indian Navy, the submarines are being built at the MDL dockyard in Mumbai under license from DCNS.
Another proposal for setting up a Rs 450 crore weapons repair facility for ships also got the DAC’s approval. This facility will be based in Port Blair.
The DAC, at its last meeting of August 18, gave approval to capital acquisition schemes for defence sector worth Rs 31000 crore.